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samal50

how bands or artists get endorsements?

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I'm not sure why some bands would list the gears they used for their recording (brand names, etc.). is this a good way to get in to the doors of a possible endorsement deal with the manufacturer of the gear they used? Is it usually free gear or other perks as well? I guess artists only get paid when they start modeling the gear in the ads, right?

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I'm not sure why some bands would list the gears they used for their recording (brand names, etc.). is this a good way to get in to the doors of a possible endorsement deal with the manufacturer of the gear they used? Is it usually free gear or other perks as well? I guess artists only get paid when they start modeling the gear in the ads, right?

 

Endorsement deals are like record contracts - they can vary wildly.

 

Getting one to begin with requires you to have some notoriety. Most companies aren't going to give an official endorsement deal to someone who is totally unheard-of and who isn't in a position to share the word about how cool the company's products are. Unknown Guy A in his bedroom is going to have a much harder time getting one than Session and Touring Player B who plays 200 shows a year and does regular recording dates, or Home Based Musician C who has 12 million YouTube views.

 

If you're already signed to a major label, or are a significantly well-known artist, you'll have an even easier time.

 

As far a what the actual deal is, that's all negotiable. If you're someone mega-famous, you might be able to get a signature model, and there might be a royalty for every one sold in exchange for allowing them to put your name on it and for your appearance in ads and other promo materials... if you're relatively unknown and in a new band that just signed to a major, you might get something at cost, or get hooked up with strings, etc.

 

The bottom line is that you need to be in a position to do something worthwhile for the company before they'll consider doing something like hooking you up with an endorsement deal of any kind.

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Before you agree to any kind of gear endorsement, have a lawyer review the contract...one has to be careful when signing endorsement deals. Some are very 'exclusive', so, say you were endorsing XYZABC guitars, and a video of you hits youtube and you are playing a Gibson, you may have blown it...you may be liable for damages, and the court fees alone could bankrupt you.

Some are pretty loose and easy, like a new company may just ask you to have their stickers on your cases [done that] in an effort to create brand awareness.

As Phil said, you need to be in the public eye or well known in the industry, or preferably both [although I got mine because I was demo-ing gear at NAMM, and they apparently thought I was worth some free strings/picks/stickers].

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My buddy's band has a Peavey Endorsement. All they get from it is a discount on the gear they buy and they get to try out new pieces of gear from time to time. They don't get anything for free and few bands ever do any more.

 

They got the endorsement by getting to know the manufacturer personally. Like all business, they have salesmen willing to work deals. With musical gear, allot of the sales come from word of mouth. Their band is well known here in TX so they were able to get an endorsement for this area. If they did send musicians to that salesman who were wanting to buy gear they get a better discount on their purchases.

 

In essence you are a part time salesman for the manufacturer by displaying and demoing the gear for other musicians. The company may choose to give you gear instead of cash for selling their gear for them but they make out better when they do that because all they have to cover is their wholesale cost and labor. Unless you play out full time and run into allot of musicians impressed and willing to buy that gear, there is no reason to give you an endorsement.

 

What's becoming more popular (and makes a band allot more money) is branding. You get some Chinese company to make you a copy of your favorite custom instrument or one that meets your expectations and then you sell it to your fans and make a profit that way. EVH gear and guitars is an example of that. EVH used to use was Kramer who was practically unknown before he put them on the map. Over time he likely found he could make more profit by coming out with is own line a gear and just having the builds contracted to the lowest bidder.

 

Your bigger manufacturers are only going to endorse high profile musicians and most of that is with Custom builds. They may have a custom guitar built for their own use and in return they create a signature model they can sell for allot more money because the musicians name is on it.

 

Les Paul is one of the oldest examples of that. Gibson didn't keep him around because they though he was some genius, they kept him around because they made them allot of money. His signature model was wildly popular and still is many decades later to the point where people don't even recognize it as being a signature model.

 

You can get endorsements for things other then musical gear too. Female musicians are big on clothing and jewelry and get endorsements to sell that stuff just like any other model might.

 

Again, It all still comes down to you making that company money. Nobody gives you anything for free. If you can sell your band well enough to become stars the manufacturers will be more likely to believe you can sell gear for them.

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"Before you agree to any kind of gear endorsement, have a lawyer review the contract..."

 

Wise advice that applies to any kind of contract. :):philthumb:

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Again, It all still comes down to you making that company money. Nobody gives you anything for free.

Not just make money, but save money. Advertising and marketing to niche markets can be expensive and time consuming, but giving away a small amount of product/swag [that is already expensed out to marketing and advertising] is a cost effective way to reach those markets, so some manufacturers will cut non-exclusive, 'just display our logo' type deals for essentially nothing.

 

 

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I have a few "endorsement" deals at the moment. I put that in quotes because I'm not a big name player. I've got some cool stuff on my resume`, and that has helped. These days, gear companies expect you to have a big online presence, particularly with social media (I don't really have the time for that, frankly). Most companies are not giving stuff away for free. I just made a deal with a company whose gear I've been using on the road for over 2 years, and I absolutely love their products. However, upgrading to their higher model is still just outside of my budget, even with "artist pricing"  (hey, I've got a family and a mortgage). Despite that, I'm grateful for their help and support.

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